Ben Folds is a musician best known for co-founding the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five, which produced chart-topping singles such as ‘Brick’ and ‘Battle of Who Could Care Less’. He was the band’s lead vocalist and pianist for seven years before the band disbanded and the members went their separate ways. The band’s fondness for humour was reflected in their name; they were a trio, not a five-piece. Ben grew up listening to Elton John and Billy Joel and played piano, bass, and drums in several high school bands. He co-founded Majosha with a friend and performed at bars and parties. The band disbanded shortly thereafter, as did another he formed. However, such brief setbacks did not deter the youngster, and he eventually signed a music publishing deal with music executive Scott Simon, opening for Marc Silvey and playing bass in his band. He worked as a session musician for several months before meeting Robert Sledge and Darren Jessee, with whom he formed the band Ben Folds Five. The band quickly gained a reputation for its eccentric humour, sarcasm, melancholy, and profanity. Along with his work with the band, Ben pursued a solo career.
Childhood & Adolescence
Ben Fold was born to a carpenter and a painter. He developed an early interest in music and particularly enjoyed listening to Elton John and Billy Joel songs.
He attended R. J. Reynolds High School and was a member of several bands, playing piano, bass, and drums.
He formed the band Majosha with a friend and competed in Duke University’s Battle of the Bands, winning the competition. Additionally, they performed at bars and parties. The band disbanded in 1990.
He was accepted to the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music on a percussion scholarship; however, he was unable to graduate and dropped out.
Career of Ben
In 1993, he relocated to New York and began performing with theater troupes. He continued to perform music in cafés.
He met bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jesse in North Carolina and formed the band Ben Folds Five with them in 1994. The band’s sound was described as alternative, piano rock, and indie.
Their self-titled debut album, ‘Ben Folds Five,’ was released in 1995. It was an avant-garde rock album with an indie-pop sensibility. It included the band’s debut radio single, ‘Underground.’
In 1997, they released their second album, ‘Whatever and Ever Amen.’ It included the chart-topping single ‘Brick,’ which would go on to become the band’s most successful single.
In 1998, they released ‘Naked Baby Photos,’ a compilation album containing previously unreleased material from the band’s previous albums and live performances.
They released ‘The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner’ in 1999. The album received favorable reviews.
The band disbanded amicably in 2000, and Ben pursued a solo career. His self-titled debut album, ‘Rockin’ the Suburbs,’ was released in 2001.
In 2003, Ben Folds, Ben Kweller, and Ben Lee formed the supergroup ‘The Bens’ and toured extensively throughout Australia. The ‘The Bens Rock over Australia Tour’ visited cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide.
‘Songs for Silverman’ debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 in 2005. It was his most successful album to date. In 2008, he released the album ‘Way to Normal.’ Within a week of its release, it peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200.
Director Eric Wareheim was inspired by the album’s success to create a music video for the single ‘You Don’t Know Me.’
He collaborated with English novelist Nick Hornby on the 2010 album ‘Lonely Avenue.’ It featured eleven new Hornby-penned songs.
Ben reunited with members of his former band to release ‘The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective’ in 2011. It featured popular songs from Ben Folds Five’s discography as well as from Ben’s solo career.
Following their reunion, they decided to collaborate on another album. ‘The Sound of the Mind’s Life’ was released in 2012. The album was the band’s first since 1999.
Significant Works of Ben
He co-founded the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five, which was lauded for its unconventional sound, distinctive music, and sense of humour. They are best known for their chart-topping singles ‘Brick’, ‘Underground’, and ‘army’ and have a cult following.
In his solo career, his 2008 album ‘Way to Normal’ was a chart-topper. It peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200, becoming his highest charting album in the United States.
Personal History and Legacies
He married Anna Goodman, his childhood sweetheart, in 1987 and divorced her in 1992. She co-wrote several songs with Ben Folds Five.In 1996, he married Kate Rosen.
In 1998, he began dating Australian Frally Hynes and married her in 1999. Twins were born as a result of this marriage. In 2006, he filed for divorce.
In 2007, he married for the second time. His fourth marriage, to Fluer, ended in 2011 as well.
Estimated Net Worth
Ben Folds has a net worth of $5 million as a singer-songwriter, musician, and producer. Ben Folds is best known as the frontman of Ben Folds Five, an alternative rock band.
Additionally, he has released numerous solo albums and collaborated with artists such as Regina Spektor and “Weird Al” Yankovic. Additionally, Folds served as a judge on the singing competition television show “The Sing-Off.”
His self-titled debut album was released on the same day as the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001.
He composed music for the animated film ‘Over the Hedge’. He was a founding member of the Independent Music Awards’ judging panel.